Crolla family legacy

Jan’s mother was born in 1937 in England, more than 100 years after her Great Grandfather was born in Fontitune, a small hamlet outside the town of Picinisco.  Her daughter, who is the family genealogist, wanted to walk the streets of her ancestors and convinced her mother and three sisters to accompany her on this … Continue reading

Finding Foglio Matricolare – Italian Military Records

Finding the military service record for an ancestor can be a great source of satisfaction……or not. Seeing your ancestor labelled as a ‘deserter’ can be a shock but often it just means that they did not return to Italy when called for military service from whichever country they had emigrated to.  Refusing to serve meant … Continue reading

Inheriting property in Italy- on occasion….meglio di no!

I am occasionally asked about property that immigrant families left behind that may still be ‘inheritable’ by the emigrant descendants. I’d like to tell you this story…. Yesterday at a family luncheon the talk turned to property taxes and Saverio began to talk about his high property taxes.  Today your principal residence is tax-free but … Continue reading

Sharon’s search for an explanation?

When Sharon started researching her ancestral line in a small town in Abruzzo she was a little shocked at the apparent comportment of her ancestors.  She remarked ‘the women in my family certainly got around!’ After studying the records she found I saw a potentially different story.  It all began with Maria Proietta who gave … Continue reading

A Foundling or a Love Child?

In researching our genealogy it’s hard to accept that our ancestor was a foundling.  A ‘throw away’, a child whose mother abandoned him.  We grasp at straws to discover that he was loved and cherished.  We don’t really want to believe he was truly alone. Wendy was sure her Grandfather was the secret love child … Continue reading

Local newspapers, obituaries and local history books

Rick asked me to check local newspapers as part of my search for his family history, for stories about the family and obituaries.  If only…… Even today, in the small towns in Italy you will not find a local newspaper.  Maybe a page in the regional edition of the national newspaper but nothing that comes … Continue reading

Search of the week

Eric contacted me with a ‘brick wall’. He was applying for Italian citizenship and had collected all the records he needed, and had already corrected several of them to meet the Consulate’s standards.  One record though, was a real puzzle.  His Grandfather Gioacchino was a foundling born in Palermo, although his entry record indicated he … Continue reading

Land ownership and Wills

Italians are very jealous about land ownership as a general rule, when family members emigrated communication was often non-existent or at least only lasted until either the immigrant or their parents died. On death, Italian law is very specific about who inherits the land.  It should be divided equally among the children (if the wife … Continue reading

Search of the week in Supino

Avery’s mother and her two siblings together with their spouses were making a trip to Italy and wanted to visit the town of origin of their parents.   Avery had visited Supino a few years ago by taking the train, arriving in the early afternoon and finding everything closed.  She wanted to make sure that … Continue reading

Search of the week – More of a curiosity!

While searching the Stato d’Anime of 1843 for a client I came to the final pages where the recorder had written the names of the local Sacerdote (priests)  followed by the Chierici (administrative priests, assistant’s to the priests, clerks etc.), then the Chierici coniugati (married clerks), Chierici Vedove (widowed clerks) and finally Chierici bigami (bigamous … Continue reading